People Insight present the ‘Outstanding Workplace Award’ to organisations that achieve a top-quartile employee engagement score of 85% or higher in their employee cultural survey.

The award highlights organisations that are investing in employee engagement and sparking positive change as a result of employee feedback. It recognises the value that top-quartile organisations place on employee engagement and shows employees and potential hires how much their employer cares about improving the experience people have at work.

The CS was open to all DFRS employees for a period of four weeks. A record breaking 74% of the workforce took the opportunity to submit their views on all areas of the Service including: Purpose, enablement, autonomy, reward, leadership, and my manager.

The Employee Engagement score was calculated using data relating to how proud employees feel working for the Service, whether employees see themselves working for DFRS in the future, how far employees endeavour to give their best, if they advocate working for DFRS and if they care for DFRS’ future – this all contributed to the Services overall 89% Employee Engagement score.

Speaking after the initial findings of the Cultural Survey, Derbyshire’s Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive, Gavin Tomlinson said: “I am delighted that so many of our workforce recognised the importance of having their say and getting involved in our 2021 Cultural Survey.

“Our people are at the heart of our Service and without their continued commitment and professionalism we would not be able to continue to deliver our services to the communities of Derbyshire, so their views are highly valuable to us as we continue to shape our Service for the future.

“The headline 89% engagement and 74% response scores are great news and attributable to our People First approach, however I know we still have work to do. Work has already begun to evaluate the results so we can develop local action plans. These will ensure we continue to shape our Service, both for our employees and the communities we serve.”

74% is the highest ever Cultural survey response rate for DFRS and the highest People Insight have seen in all fire and rescue services that they work with.

89% Employee Engagement is 11 points above the all sector** external benchmark used by People Insight and is 1 point higher than the 2019 CS and 5 points higher than in 2017.

Costa Antoniou, fire and rescue sector specialist consultant from People Insight said: “Having worked with DFRS for a few years now I can confidently say they are always exploring ways to generate improved results, especially efforts to enable more people to participate.

"This year, the strategised approach to try a series of different things (from QR codes to biscuit and tea-time) definitely helped. Not only did they achieve their highest response rate, but from my experience of working with many other fire and rescue services, the highest on-call response rate, which we know is a big challenge.”